Summary: A sermon on how to make the church a more enjoyable atmosphere. (Taken from D. Michael Lindsay’s book Friendship: Creating a Culture of Connectivity In Your Church)

Sermon for 8/21/2005

There’s Nothing Like a Satisfied Customer


John Drea, a professor of business at Western Illinois University, wrote in an article, A base of satisfied customers is vital for any healthy organization. Just as a physician takes your temperature as an indicator of your health, measuring customer satisfaction provides a means of assessing your organization’s health - taking its temperature, so to speak.

This thought is echoed in many church growth books. A church grows warmer through fellowship, through relationships. Many people are looking for support and encouragement, people to live with, and a family for loving.


A. From Acts 2:46-47, we see the results of Church Satisfaction.

B. No church is perfect. However, the most satisfied church members worship at places where they feel like they belong, where they are valued and appreciated, and where friendships flourish.

C. Next several weeks going over new book called, “Friendship: Creating a culture of connectivity in your church.” Michael Lindsay wrote the book based on a survey of church members (all denominations, all groups and all areas of the country) financed by the Gallup Organization.

D. This study demonstrates a tight connection between a church’s friendliness and its members reporting high levels of satisfaction with their church. This is common sense. If there is a church that is cold and hateful, those who are in it will not have a high level of satisfaction. If a church is warm and friendly, those who are in it will have a high level of satisfaction.

E. (1 Pet 4:8 NIV) Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

F. When people are friendly, then the guest will say, “I’m home.” This is what people are trying to find, a church home, a family. Not that everyone is perfect in the family, but a good family makes you feel a part. It is a sense of belonging.

G. Having deep relationships with other members is an important way that people feel connected with one another and the congregation. Eventually, it has to go beyond just friendliness. I have known people who are very warm and bubbly but they like to keep people at arms length. This leads to dissatisfaction with the relationship. Many people are seeking so much more than just a friendly atmosphere. They are seeking a place to call “home.”

Thesis: How can we be a place where people go from saying, “This is just my church,” to “This is my home?”

For instances:

1. Form groups around hobbies, interests.

A. Golfers

C. Scrapbooking

D. Homeschoolers

E. My home church has a group that likes to water ski. Personally, I would rather be beat with a wet noodle, but for them this is great.

F. At Bell Arthur, they had a quilting club.

G. Have the church sponsor, go out of their way to make these kinds of activities possible. This is not the job of the church, it has to be spiritual. For the Christian, there is not distinction between the secular and the holy. Everything needs to give glory to God.

H. What is my hobby, my interest? I need to use that for the glory of God.

H. Learn about others interests and try to bring them together. It needs to be the job of this church. Our mission statement: Our mission to share our lives and Jesus Christ. We are to share our lives with each other. (1 Th 2:8 NIV) We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.

I. It is amazing that these groups begin to invite those who have never been to the church and then through time they come and find their church “home.”

2. Quickly move guests from “outsider” to “insider” status.

A. Some of the fastest growing churches in this country are ones that bring people into the church fold by allowing them to participate in ministries, helping them join Bible studies, or provide other ways for guests to get to know church members outside the worship service without having to be a member of the church first.

B. Now we have to be wise in this. We do not want someone teaching unbiblical material. We do not want someone to represent the church who is engaged in notoriously sinful behavior.

C. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a church for a few years and still feeling like an outsider. I am not a member of the club.

D. Some who have been members of the church for years still feel like outsiders. They are not part of a certain family and they never will be so they are an outsider even though they are Christians. This is wrong.

E. (Gal 2:11 NIV) When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Paul opposed him because Peter and the other Jews were separating themselves from the Gentiles. They were making their own little club and the Gentiles would never be able to be a part.

3. Have greeters and ushers.

A. It is even recommended that at some point in the service to have people greet each other.

B. Many people only get a hand shake at church. For women hugs.

C. In the retail world, it is important to greet everyone who comes in. It is good to be semi-interested in what the customer needs. Not to crowd them or overdo it, but the customer needs to know that the salespeople at least acknowledge their presence and that the salespeople are willing to meet any needs or answer any questions.

D. How do you feel when you walk into a store and you see no salespeople? You have to track them down and when you find them they seem annoyed at your presence. I can almost guarantee that you didn’t buy anything at that store.

E. It is the same way at church. Someone comes in and people are annoyed that they are there. There are no handshakes, no hugs, and no acknowledgment of someone’s presence. They won’t be back.

F. Greet one another with a holy kiss used 4 times in New Testament.

4. Get people involved in the ministry of the church.

A. Those members who feel engaged by their church- through ministry involvements and responsibilities- are most likely to be pleased with the state of their church.

B. Practically nothing can compare with the level of commitment elicited from active volunteerism in the local church. The data in this study suggest that those who volunteer at their church on a weekly basis are much more likely than non-volunteers to be satisfied with their church, with their spiritual lives, and with their relationship with God.

C. It is easy to become negative and cynical when one isn’t in the game. I love the Chicago Cubs, the lovable losers. This past season has been rough. Crystal was on the computer and I was watching a game where the Cubs were getting beat 9 to 0. Crystal was listening and finally she said, “Those commentators need to be quiet. What are they doing but sitting up in the press box, drinking a beer and running their mouths. It is so easy to criticize when one is not playing the game but just watching.”

E. The most critical people in the church usually are the ones who are not involved.

G. (Acts 20:35 NIV) In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ’It is more blessed to give than to receive.’"

5. Caring Elders and Deacons

A. 84% who are very satisfied with their church report, “The spiritual leaders of my congregation seem to care for me as a person.”

B. No matter what we do as elders and deacons we need to care for the people. That is why we are in the ministry. It is not for pride, prestige, or to have a notch in our belt or a reference on a resume, it is to care for people. If we don’t do that, then we shouldn’t be elders or deacons.

C. (1 Cor 13:1 NIV) If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.(1 Cor 13:2 NIV) If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.(1 Cor 13:3 NIV) If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

D. We have formed shepherding groups. This is to show love, care and concern for all those in regular attendance. If missing for 3 Sunday’s, then we are to follow up.

E. 90% who are very satisfied with their church also report, “The spiritual leaders of my congregation seem to care for each other.”

F. There is nothing worse than having leaders who argue, bicker, and fight. They view each other as an enemy. This is felt in the congregation. The thought is, “If they don’t love each other, then how can they love me.”

G. I must say that the elders and deacons, while I have been here, have loved each other. We have disagreements but when we leave the meeting, we are united. They have showed care and concern for me when I went through difficult times. I have seen them show care and concern for each other when one went through a difficult time. I have never been in a congregation that had such spiritually mature leaders. Not that we are perfect, but at least we love each other. If we lose that, we have lost a great deal. ‘

H. (3 John 1:9 NIV) I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.(3 John 1:10 NIV) So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

6. Eat together

A. 77% of highly satisfied church members have eaten a meal with people in their congregation (who are not members of their family) at some point over the last year. Mealtime fellowship appears strongly connected with high levels of congregational satisfaction.

C. This was happening in the early church. Ate together with glad and sincere hearts. It probably was a practice in many churches to have a meal together weekly. However, Paul discouraged the practice at the Corinthians church because of their bad attitudes that encouraged division and because of their abuses of the Lord’s Supper. But he never discouraged eating together with the right attitude.

D. We have Wednesday night meals. We will have a big meal for our Homecoming Sunday on September 11. In small groups we have meals. Love for many to get together just for a meal.

E. Ray Pritchard wrote an article called, “If You feed them, they will come.” This is what he said, “Meaningful worship and meaningful meals are critical to any attempts at renewal, and one doesn’t work well without the other. Never trust a Christian fellowship where Christians regularly worship together but don’t like to eat together, or where they eat together but neglect worship. The church that eats together, stays together. We must have the Word, we must have worship, but we must also eat together. It’s part of being the family of God. That’s why we have refreshments attached to almost every church event. It’s not an "extra" and it’s certainly not a gimmick. Eating together is biblical. We need more meals and more food, not less.”

So what?

A. Brand loyalty

B. Acts 2:47

C. Think about Jesus. Jesus went fishing with his disciples. Jesus quickly moved 12 of the outsiders to insider status very quickly. Jesus welcomed everyone with holy kisses and hugs. He was called the friend of tax collectors and sinners. He got people involved in the ministry as many as 70 or more at a time. He taught his disciples to care for each other and for the crowds. He would often eat with his disciples. The Last Supper was focused around a meal.